Who will play district hotties Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason? And WTH is happening with director Gary Ross? Portia Baladad predicts what we can expect in The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire.
While The Hunger Games continues to CRUSH the box office, the question on
my everyone’s mind seems to be, how can the next film top it?
In Catching Fire,
Peeniss Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 before ‘celebrating’ their victory in Panem. To use a cliché, Peeniss may have won the battle, but they haven’t won the war. Their double victory has Panem’s regime fuming and they decide to punish them. What President Snow and his cronies don’t know is that a revolution is looming and Katniss is the face of it. [Dum, dum, dum.]
So, what can fans expect to see next year? (WARNING: Spoilers ahead. I don’t want to Liz Lemon you all)
Will Gary Ross direct the sequel?
Unfortunately, no. Ross recently announced that he won’t be directing the next film. Time, not money, seems to be what’s keeping Ross out of the director’s chair. The film is scheduled to start production this fall, leaving its star, Jennifer Lawrence, free to film the X-Men: First Class sequel in January. Without Ross at the helm, and a nearing start date, Lionsgate is scrambling to find a new director.
The studio’s shortlist includes Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), David Cronenberg (the Fly), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel). They would all do the film’s darker themes justice, but what’s really bugging me is that the list is full of men! I wouldn’t mind seeing some strong female directors thrown into the mix (more notably, the Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow) especially considering Katniss is a badass herself.
Who’s playing Finnick Odair?
Considering Catching Fire doesn’t even have a director, no one knows who’ll be playing the 24 year-old hottie wielding the trident from District 4. If fans had their way, the casting directors’ list will include Alex Pettyfer, Armie Hammer, Grant Gustin and Zac Efron. While all pretty in their own right, my vote goes to Hammer, who you know from The Social Network. Strong talent is what a franchise like The Hunger Games needs to stay in both the critics’ and fans’ good graces.
What about Johanna Mason?
Again, same boat as Finnick: no director, no casting!
Kristen Bell is campaigning for the role of District 7’s victor and professed her love for the series on Jimmy Kimmel Live. She was tough, sarcastic and funny on Veronica Mars so I can imagine her as Johanna. Lawrence will need someone like her in order to develop the quasi-rival relationship between the two characters. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the 5’1” actress kick some ass again.
When will it be out?
Lionsgate, is eager to build on the first film’s success. Last year, the studio announced plans to have the next installment, Catching Fire, in theaters by November 2013. A risky but calculated move considering the first movie was in the midst of filming when this was announced.
Lionsgate is no stranger to tight schedules, as it’s also responsible for our other favourite series, Twilight. In contrast, The Hunger Games’ sequel, Catching Fire, is much more complicated and darker than Twilight. I want to believe the franchise can evolve as gracefully as Harry Potter did.
Scenes to look forward to?
Any fighting scene in the arena will be a blast, quite literally. It’ll be interesting to see how another director will interpret these scenes without the shaky cam. Other than that, seeing as I’m a Finnick fan, I would love to see the the trident-wielding hottie secretly profess his love for fellow District 4 Victor, Annie, in front of all Panem. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the mushy bits.